Nagpur, Oct 30: Virat Kohli (115 not out), Shikhar Dhawan (100) and Rohit Sharma (79) were at it again as India chased down another 350 plus score to level the seven-match ODI series against Australia 2-2 at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium here Wednesday.
George Bailey (156) was once again the catalyst for Australia as the visitors scored an imposing 350 for six. India in reply scored 351 for four and won with three balls to spare.
Kohli, Dhawan and Rohit were the key men as India chased down a record 360 target in the second ODI in Jaipur.
The newfound opening partnership has given Rohit a new lease of life and he right-hander was once again amongst the runs. Dhawan though was the aggressor and the duo together added 176 runs for the first wicket.
Rohit smacked three sixes in his 89-ball innings while Dhawan had 11 fours to his name.
Kohli hit the ground running and looked in great touch. The Delhi batsman was instrumental in India’s highest ODI chase and again proved to be the difference.
India looked to be running away with the match but Dhawan’s wicket changed all that.
Mitchell Johnson then scalped Suresh Raina (16) and Yuvraj Singh (0) in the same over to bring Australia well and truly back in the game.
India required 35 off the last three overs and it was Kohli again who changed turned India’s fortunes around.
James Faulkner was plundered for 15 runs in the 47th over to leave India with 20 to get in the last two.
Johnson gave away 14 runs off the penultimate over, ending Australia’s challenge in the match.
Earlier, Australia put in to bat, found themselves in a spot of bother after losing openers Aaron Finch (20) and Phil Hughes (13).
Australia could have been in further trouble with Shane Watson being dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja. But the left-arm spinner made the cardinal sin of over-stepping and was made to pay dearly for his mistake.
Watson went on to smash 102 off 94 balls, hitting 13 fours and three sixes. Bailey, however, was the man on the move as the Australian captain smashed 156 off 114 balls, including 13 fours and six sixes.
Watson and Bailey strung together a 158-run stand for the third wicket. Bailey and Voges then did the damage in the last 10 overs to take Australia to a big score.
Australia 350 for six in 50 overs (George Bailey 156, Shane Watson 102, Adam Voges 44; Ravichandran Ashwin 2-64, Ravindra Jadeja 2-68) vs India 351 for four in 49.3 overs (Virat Kohli 115 not out, Shikhar Dhawan 100, Rohit Sharma 79; Mitchell Johnson 2-72, Aaron Finch 1-20)